Questions and Answers for The Seafarer

The Seafarer

“The Seafarer” is an Old English poem by an anonymous author. Composed sometime in the Anglo-Saxon period or Early Middle Ages, it reflects the poetic style of its day in that it utilizes the sound...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2017 12:35 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

In the poem "The Seafarer," the use of alliteration gives the piece a lyrical and musical sound when read aloud, as was the custom for songs, dramas and poems—before the concept of literature...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2016 9:05 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

In the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Seafarer," the narrator shares the pitiless battering of nature on his person and his difficulty in being separated from the company of other people. Ironically, being...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2015 11:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

These three poems are some of the better-known examples of Old English elegiac poetry. The theme of the outcast, someone who is now alone and outcast from his or her society, forms the basis for...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2017 5:06 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The use of imagery within a text allows a reader to create mental images based upon the descriptions offered by the author. Well written imagery appeals to the senses of the reader and offers...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2013 12:13 am UTC

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The Seafarer

Elegies are poems lamenting the dead or lost things. An elegy can be written about a deceased loved one or about a former way of life. Many Anglo-Saxon poems have at the very least an elegiac...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2020 12:21 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem in which the speaker, a man of the sea, at first outlines all the reasons why he has to be miserable at sea: it is cold, it is exhausting, and it is isolated....

Latest answer posted August 29, 2013 10:29 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The Old English poem “The Seafarer” contains all the delightful features of Old English poetry. Let's examine some of them. Old English poems generally feature long lines of four stresses that are...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2020 2:26 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The narrator explains the relationship between the man and the sea as the experience of life itself. The sea, like life, is a dangerous and unpredictable place. It is ice-cold, full of storms and...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The concept of "Fate" is first introduced when the narrator of "The Seafarer" describes the hardships of sailing, the quiet desire to remain on land—with its comforts and companions—and the call to...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2016 5:23 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" exists as a very early example of Old English poetry. Historically, texts from this period were transmitted through oral tradition, only being written down after centuries. Although...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2018 12:04 am UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an allegorical poem that charts one man's spiritual journey from a life of material ease and luxury to a state of blessed holiness. In this sense, the seafarer is exiled not just...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2018 8:55 am UTC

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The Seafarer

Alliteration was one of the key elements used by Old English poets. Unlike many of today's poets, and especially today's students, Old English poets didn't worry too much about end-rhyme. Poets...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2016 2:43 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The poem is divided into three major sections, with the first dealing with the hardships of the seafaring life, the second with more positive aspects of seafaring, and the third with religion. In...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2019 6:26 am UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem which was probably originally sung by scops, like most of the other literature of the period. It has been translated many ways, so an examination of several...

Latest answer posted August 16, 2013 1:02 am UTC

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The Seafarer

The seafarer is definitely bitten by a wanderlust that drives him to set out across the seas. Two passages that show this are the following. First, he writes, And how my heartWould begin to beat,...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2020 1:35 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

In "The Seafarer," loneliness and alienation are themes referred to often by the poem's speaker. The seafarer describes loneliness on the water in the following quote using imagery that describes...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2010 3:12 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

Both "The Seafarer" and "The Wanderer," both of which are found in the Exeter Book (ca. 725 CE), are dramatic monologues in which the speakers describe their experience of hardship, the loss of...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2019 4:03 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

In the Old English poem “The Seafarer,” faith in God is the crucial value, leading not only to good earthly fame after death but also to something much more important: eternal existence in heaven....

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 11:50 am UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer," a poem that speaks to us down the centuries about suffering, loss, and hope for an everlasting life, is found in what is known as the Exeter Book and was most likely composed in the...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2015 9:58 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

Starting at the beginning of the poem, the seafarer is melancholy to the point of being profoundly depressed. He is depressed because he is stuck in a life on the ocean. He even refers to it as a...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2015 3:26 am UTC

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The Seafarer

The poet of “The Seafarer” does indeed present two opposing viewpoints in his poem. However, there is no doubt which view the speaker espouses, since he is speaking in the first-person for much of...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2016 8:58 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

To me, the contrast that is implied is a contrast between the old, pagan, heroic values of the days gone by and the new, more Christian and peaceful values that the poet is recommending to people....

Latest answer posted January 3, 2010 2:23 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

This is a trick question because one could make a "correct" argument for any of the three possibilities. In my opinion, however, the best answer to your question is that the speaker of "The...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2009 10:47 am UTC

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The Seafarer

The short answer is that the poem presents two contrasting conceptions of glory or fame. One is connected with the heroic values of pre-Christian, Germanic culture, and concerns one's reputation...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 5:59 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

In the original Anglo-Saxon, the words speak simply of "home," but the context makes it clear that the poet is not referring to one's earthly, physical home. Instead, "home" is the eternal bliss...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 2:41 am UTC

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The Seafarer

Even though the seafarer spends the first part of the poem explaining how awful, lonely, and cold sea life is, he then says that he keeps going back to it voluntarily. The time for journeys would...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2015 11:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Loneliness is a key theme in the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Wayfarer". The narrator introduces the idea of his isolation this way: I have spent great careworn wintersan exile on the ice-cold sea,cut...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2019 1:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

"The Seafarer" is an Anglo-Saxon poem about a man who lives his life on the sea, a seafarer. The poem is one hundred and twenty-four lines long, and most of the first half of the work is a...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2013 1:01 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The protagonist and speaker in "The Seafarer" is a man who exists in a state of suffering. He suffers so much because he is an exile, forced to continually travel the seas in a culture which prized...

Latest answer posted March 29, 2019 3:45 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

The speaker mourns the loss of great leaders and rich empires. He laments the fact that the world is losing its "Golden Age" of heroes. It is the passage from a warrior-based society to a Christian...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2016 12:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

I love this poem! The Seafarer does indeed relay all the hardships in your former answer, but he also relates how he is heartsick when he is not at sea. It is a longing within his breast that he...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2007 5:35 am UTC

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The Seafarer

"The Seafarer", like most Anglo-Saxon or Old English poetry (including Beowulf) is written in what is known as strong-stress or alliterative meter. Unlike modern English poetry, in which feet are...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2015 11:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

An elegy is, put simply, a poem of mourning, and the poem's first lines immediately begin to identify it as such. The narrator says that he will go on to describe "toilsome times" that forced him...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2019 12:01 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

At a basic level, the power of the sea is that the seafarer is drawn to it despite the hardships it brings. While in the beginning of the poem the speaker talks of the sea as incredibly harsh and...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2019 4:17 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Seafarer

In this section of the poem, the speaker aligns himself with other old men who lament the time of great leadership—and great leaders—which is now gone, never to return. The speaker declares that...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2018 7:30 am UTC

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The Seafarer

In "The Seafarer," I do not get the sense that fate drives the seaman as much as the call of his heart and his mind, so I would suggest that his heart and mind are stronger than fate. If one is...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2017 8:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

The anonymous speaker of the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Seafarer" laments, in the lines you mention, that no one who lives on the land could ever understand the hardships a seafarer must endure. The...

Latest answer posted September 4, 2013 5:53 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The speaker catalogues the qualities that might earn a person a place in heaven at the end of the poem, in lines 108-116. He highlights the virtues of humility, courage, faith, chastity and love,...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2008 9:19 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Ultimately, the answer to this question outside of the context of this poem is for each individual to decide; within the context of the poem, however, the answer to the question is relatively...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2017 9:05 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

This an interesting question, because the poem alludes to two different cultural conceptions of heroism -- the early, pre-Christian, Germanic conception, and the Christian one. The seafarer himself...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 7:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

In this poem, the speaker (Seafarer) discusses how harsh his life at sea has been. He makes particular notes about the cold weather especially in comparison with the cold, isolated feeling of...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2015 7:35 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The Old English Anglo-Saxon poem “The Seafarer” is thematically divided into three sections. In the first section the speaker describes his travels on the cold and dangerous sea, creating a...

Latest answer posted June 3, 2016 11:48 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The speaker of "The Seafarer" expresses profound skepticism over the value of earthly goods. Ultimately, when it comes to what really matters—achieving salvation—they are worse than useless. He...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2019 8:00 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Seafarer

This paradox is central to the entire poem. It may be summed up this way: 1. Seafaring is dangerous, lonely, and objectively miserable. It offers no rewards or "earthly pleasures." A normal...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2016 8:18 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

The seafarer presents us with a picture of life upon Earth as fallen. In this he's developing the age-old Christian theme of the Fall, that humankind has occupied a state of sin ever since Adam and...

Latest answer posted August 31, 2018 5:48 am UTC

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The Seafarer

The Old English poems “The Wanderer,” “The Seafarer,” and “Dream of the Rood” all contain strong religious themes, but they express these themes in different ways. The most overtly religious of the...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2020 2:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Seafarer

Hi there- I think you will find it helpful to visit our How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay page. There are other topics on our "how to" pages you might find helpful as well, including:...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2008 3:34 am UTC

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The Seafarer

"We all fear God. He turns the earth, he set it swinging firmly in space, Gave life to the world and light to the sky. Death leaps at the fools who forget their God. He who lives humbly...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

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The Seafarer

In "The Seafarer," the speaker talks about the realities of life as a seafarer on the ocean and the excitement, danger, beauty, and suffering that accompanies such a life. Within this description...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2019 5:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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